On our 2nd day in Seoul, my sisters and I woke up early so we could use all the time we had set for both N Seoul Tower and Lotte World. We had originally planned to just spend the whole day in Lotte World then head to Seoul Station later in the evening for our train ride to Busan at 10 PM. But since we had yet to check out N Seoul Tower and view Seoul from up there, we split the day for these two attractions. We had lots of time before our scheduled trip, anyway. Or do we?
N Seoul Tower
An iconic landmark in Seoul, N (Namsan) Seoul Tower is located on Namsan Mountain and it measures 480 meters above sea level, while the tower itself is 237 meters high. It’s a pretty sight both in the distance and up-close. This would be the second tower that I would be visiting (the first one was Macau Tower) and I was quite thrilled to have another sweeping view of a city from high up.
To reach the cable car that would take us to Namsan Mountain, we just had to walk for about 15 minutes from our hostel. My sisters and I had our morning exercise as we walked along elevated streets. We were trying to save time by walking briskly but we were passing by nice streets that weren’t busy yet. Maan and I couldn’t resist squeezing in some super quick photo ops.
To get to Namsan Mountain, people can either take the bus or ride a cable car. We chose the latter since it would get us to the mountain faster and it’s more convenient. Plus, exciting too.
Once on Namsan Mountain, visitors are treated with a nice view of the city and some other attractions. One of these attractions is The Lock of Love which is similar to the famous Love Lock bridge in Paris. Couples pledge their love, seal it with a lock and then they leave the lock on the railings. Here at Namsan Seoul Tower, there were metal rails to hang the locks on, too. They also had these metal trees which served the same purpose. So these are adorably called “love trees”.
The surrounding area was an attraction in itself. After checking out The Lock of Love, we explored the place’s other features.
After a little bit of wandering, we were ready for the main attraction. We entered Namsan Tower and rode the elevator up to the observation deck. I liked how this wasn’t a dull ride. While on our way up, the elevator operator asked us to look up and watch on a screen above a short video. It was of planets zooming past the frame. This made it look and feel like we were inside a rocket being shot up to outer space. Cool stuff.
Less than a minute later, the elevator doors opened and as we stepped out, we saw it – the city of Seoul in clear, plain sight.
My knees buckle when I’m on high places, particularly open ones. But this, this was simply relaxing. It was nice looking at the scenery below, spotting skyscrapers, admiring the mountains in the distance and seeing the Han River.
There are restaurants and cafés on certain floors of the tower for a unique dining experience. People can enjoy their food and great view at the same time. With the kind of ambiance this brings, I think it’s great to have dates here. And I bet it’s more romantic to dine here at night while the city lights glimmer below.
Aside from the panoramic view of Seoul, another thing that grabbed my attention was the gift shop on the tower’s 5th floor. There were so many cute and nifty souvenirs here! I made the mistake of not buying at least one of the pretty things I saw here. I thought I’d see similar but probably cheaper ones in some other tourist spot we’d be checking out. But the souvenirs here at N Seoul Tower are special.
When it comes to theme parks in South Korea, 2 names always come up – Lotte World and Everland. I had taught English to Koreans online before and I remembered one student telling me about Everland and that it’s the biggest theme park in South Korea. So when my sisters and I were deciding which theme park to visit, I naturally voted for Everland. It takes approximately 40 minutes to get there however, and we’re trying to save as much time as we could. So Lotte World won in the end. A large indoor theme park, Lotte World was also something we were happy to check out.
We arrived in Lotte Mall at around 2 PM. We know, it’s quite late already especially if we wanted to try plenty of attractions. But we thought it’s a Monday anyway so we’re not expecting many visitors and long lines. We had our lunch first and entered Lotte World at around 3 PM. I must say, to be a theme park inside a mall is an impressive thing. Even more so when it occupies 5 floors.
With a guide map in hand, we started choosing rides appropriate for us. My sisters chose some rides that were not appropriate for me. Haha. I was too scared to try the Giant Loop and Gyro Drop so I was temporarily that person whom you leave bags to while her companions go for the heart-racing rides. I was plain happy to take pictures and videos while waiting.
Lotte World gives you the feeling that you’re in an indoor wonderland. It’s filled with colorful attractions and structures that seemed to be taken out of a storybook. I could imagine kids and kids-at-heart being happy at the mere sight of it. There were plenty of rides to entertain both adults and kids alike and several of them were 4D rides which my sisters and I got to happily try.
If you’re someone who loves going to theme parks, Lotte World will get you warm and fuzzy. It’s not just an indoor theme park, you see. There are more rides outside to feed one’s adventurous self! It’s like a whole new theme park out there.
After my sisters went for the Gyro Drop, we were only able to ride 2 attractions. We realized that Monday wasn’t an exemption to long lines. Lotte World is an indoor theme park in Seoul after all so it’s very accessible. The crowd was mostly of the young age group – teenagers and college students probably looking to unwind after school. By 5 PM, we were waiting for more or less 30 minutes for each ride.
I was able to try 5 rides in total while my sisters had 7. It was a small number as I was expecting to be able to ride in at least 10. Nevertheless, our trip to Lotte World had been fun and exciting.
Catching the KTX to Busan
Before we started our day, we all agreed to leave Lotte World before 8 PM so we would have time to come back for our luggage at our hostel and arrive at Seoul Station in time for our 10 PM trip. By 7:30 PM though, we felt we needed to try one more attraction so even if we knew that the lines were long, we proceeded to fall in line for the Gyro Swing. We realized later on it wasn’t a good decision.
We left Lotte World at 8:30 PM and hurried to get back to our hostel. After we picked up our luggage, we rushed back to the subway station. It was 9:30 PM at that time and we’re already feeling uneasy. Our scheduled trip was 10 PM and we didn’t want to get left behind by the KTX which cost ₩50,285 each.
It was less than 5 minutes before 10 PM when the train stopped at Seoul Station. We were still hoping we could catch the KTX so once the train doors opened, we made a dash for the other station! Pulling a suitcase each, we ran as fast as we could. The distance between Seoul Station and the KTX wasn’t small, though. I felt myself slowing down as we neared our stop.
Breathless, we finally made it to the KTX station. It was 3 minutes past 10 PM.
In the middle of our efforts to catch the train to Busan, a loud fight between me and my sisters broke. Ate, the traveler, got impatient with us and Maan got triggered by what she said and I got triggered by what she did (or didn’t do). I won’t go into details much and I only wanted to include this on my blog because I believe it became the highlight of our second day. It was kind of a huge fight. And we seldom fight anymore.
We were left by our train and we couldn’t do anything about it anymore. Thankfully, it turned out we didn’t need to buy one-way tickets again. We only had to move our schedule to 10:30 PM and pay a smaller fee. Whew! It’s better than purchasing the same amount of ticket again or opting to ride the bus and travel for 4 hours at this time of the night. We started to relax after securing our new tickets and bought dinner at a nearby fast food joint. We were so hungry.
Our second day in Seoul was definitely eventful. And we did learn some lessons. We were exhausted when we arrived at our hotel in Busan at 1:30 AM but a good night’s sleep was all we needed. The next day, my sisters and I were on speaking terms again (can’t stay mad at your siblings for too long now, can you?) and we’re ready for another adventure-filled day. Who’s ready for Busan?
N Seoul Tower
105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-dong 2-ga,
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong,
Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea